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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  October 9, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT

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stand up and be counted. don't be afraid to use your vote with the things that are at stake, from med cares to medicate to social security. don't let people intimidate you. thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now.
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which candidate saw 40 million people, uninsured americans, dragging themselves to sit for hours in emergency rooms across the country? he saw it, obama did, and refused to let it stay that way through yet another presidency. mitt romney saw the way things were and said he wants to keep things that way. if you don't have insurance, tough. go get a seat with the other victims and moochers. he called them. well, this is where romney's vulnerable, where obama can come charging from his ground of strength. now is the time. for romney to take positions. i'm joined by democrat strategist bob shrum and former chair of the rnc michael steele. gentlemen, as i said, it's time for president obama to attack. you first, bob shrum.
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first the bugle call. >> you sound like jim cramer. [ laughter ] >> we're both from philly. seriously, though, my argument is here -- you can say what you want, from this [ muted ] where we go and focus on the big issues that separate these two candidates. your thoughts, bob shrum? that first debate was toesed to be about domestic issues. none of those issues came up. i think in the next debate, in the town hall format, the president has to make sure they're front and center. it's about what's said day after day after day. >> right. i would add one issue to the list you gave. the president has to win this medicare issues.
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seniors are too critical a voting bloc to let romney tell the lie that $716 billion was tut from medicare benefits. >> do you agree with us, i think from a different perspective. this election is about big issues, not who is a better debater. >> i think it's to really -- for the people of the country or the people controlling and deciding their own fate. that's what it boils down to. the american people have a chance to really see where these two gentlemen really -- >> of course, issues like same-sex same-sex and abortion rights, you believe the government should make the call? >> there you go again, chris. >> i know.
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the gallup tracking poll has now divided into two. if look at the pollster trend line of -- you can see obama in the blue line really picked up. we all know that charlotte was good for the democrats, but romney started gain rapidly following that debate. what do you think about that, michael? how is it moving between now and 28 days from now? >> now, how the people digest that remains -- sugar high? how long does it last? >> whatever it was, obama should
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have had some of it. the poll, the tracking is beginning to reflect -- >> we're getting into the big issues tonight and for the coming two presidential debates. >> i think that joe biden is going to draw up big. everyone wants to know if everyone's going to do it. to some extent i think it will be like nascar. is he going to make a mistake? the democrats have argued that romney's claim during last week's debate, it's actually a plan to cut $5 billion in taxes, but he did it again tonight on cnn just a short time ago.
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the obama attacks are false, let's see what you think here. >> he ignores the fact that they're going to limit the deduction and -- he ignores that part. obviously that was corrected by the deputy campaign manager who stipulated the $5 trillion number was wrong. it's completely wrong. the combination of limiting deductions as well as growth of our economy will make up for the reduction in rate. >> bob shrum, thank got in the rest of this discussion with wolf blitzer, he clarified the fact he's going to cut $5 trillion in revenue, a lot of it from wealthy people.
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he's not going to the bank, he's going to let that tax cut stand. you can call it a lie, he's cutting taxes for the rich. he says he's going to offset that, but when asked by wolf blitzer, are you going after where the money is, the mortgage deduction? rule going after charitable, which everybody seems to like? i'm not going to keep those preferences. how can he do it? is he houdini? >> he can't do it. the tax policy center says you can get rid of all of the deductions and it wouldn't pay -- and that's what they do cost before they're offset. that's just a fact. he's actually misquoting the president's campaign manager, but he then goes on to say, well, maybe we can't set a limit of $17,000 or $20,000 or $25,000. that would be the total deductions you could take.
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for a lot of middle-class fame with pretty substantial state and local taxes, that would represent a massive tax increase. romney cannot defend this plan on its merits, so he simply says i'll negotiate this with congress. it doesn't matter what he negotiates, there's not enough money there. it's a simple matter of arithmetic. but he's being a smooth liar about this. >> is the mathematics policy? can you offset $5 trillion with big deductions by getting rid of them when he said tonight to accomplicer, i'm going to leave the mortgage preference, the charitable preference, what is left? >> first off, you're kind of misquoting what he said. number one, he said it's not a $5 trillion dr. >> 4.8. >> but it is. i don't care what he says, he's lying. it is $5 trillion. >> bob, let me make mire point. >> don't repeat his lie without any evidence. >> i'm not repeating it.
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the fact you call it a lie, you take that up with him. >> no, he's the one who's lying. >> let me make the point. how does it not -- >> the fact of the matter is he's identified that what he's going to do is limply fill the tax code in a number of ways, one is making those deductions, eliminating for the upper income or restricting them, and also cutting the rate for everything, so that everyone will have the same rate, and then from that point then, do those other things that are outlined. if it was good enough for simpson bowls to meet those numbers, he's bakley tracking the reductions, the same way simps simps simps simps
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simps simpson bowles. >> president obama today and mitt romney were both in ohio today. which has the biggest electoral fire -- the other guy needs to not lose it. the new cnn/opinion research poll out today research poll shows obama up by four, 51%/47% among likely voters. that poll was taken after the debate -- actually after the debate. before the debate obama had a wider margin. >> when you think about ohio. >> he said -- with el reinvented a dying auto industry, that supports one in eight ohio jobs and has come roaring back to the top of the world. another big speaker joining
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the fight tonight, we don't have it yet. bill clinton will be in vegas, he's out there joining the campaign. what will be his role? >> i think bill clinton will play a big role. he has a way to generate that energy. the polls are showing there's still this gap that exists for a lot -- >> why can't he defend the president? >> that's a very curies thing. bill just has a way of sort of taking have convoluted stuff, issues, and breaking it down for folks. >> obama is a professor, a constitutional lawyer. >> i agree with you. bill clinton is more like fdr that way, simple english. >> listen, i think bill clinton is an invaluable asset. i agree he'll be helpful in this campaign, but i also believe that barack obama is a fourth quarter player. we've seen it again and again, going all the way back to 2007 when he was way behind hillary clinton.
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i'm through with this expectations game. i think the president will come to the next debate, bring his best game and will convey to the american people what the real choice is between someone who will fight for the middle class and someone who will favor the few. i've heard that fourth quarter reference, by the way. from the xarn, getting out there, bob. >> pretty good defense, bob. >> i think i actually wrote that meteorologist and months ago. that's what, bob, i think we all agree what didn't work was the defense, because he's not that far ahead. he can't get to the fourth quarter -- >> we'll see what obama shows up in two weeks. >> who will win this thursday? joe biden has got to win, because the tie goes i think to the other guy. >> i think it's a tie. >> i think biden will win. i think he's a terrific debater. i think a lot of people underestimate him. >> not you, not me. thank you both. coming up, unmasking the so-called mitt. he pulled a classic et asketch
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last week. when is president obama going to stop talking about big bird and go after the big stuff and the other guy? also the war in the west, senate races in north dakota, montana, nevada and arizona, they're all toss-ups. tonight a democrat making a, richard carmona is here. and jon stewart takes on the jobbers, the right-leaning conspiracy theorists who say the unemployment numbers were sent in from obama headquarters in chicago. >> it's a [ bleep ] recipe. it's like the radish stew of jobless numbers. finally let me finish with the real differences between these two candidates. this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ]
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wbr/mass inc. poll. it's now brown by three. 48%, 45%. that keeps juggling. in north dakota a seat that looked to be a sure republican pickup is now a dead heat. believe it or not, former ag out there heidi heitkamp is tied with rick berg. republican congressman. 47-all. in pennsylvania democratic senator bob casey is up nine over his republican challenger in the new siena, 44 to 35. to help those affected and to cover cleanup costs. today, the beaches and gulf are open, and many areas are reporting their best tourism seasons in years. and bp's also committed to america. we support nearly 250,000 jobs and invest more here than anywhere else. we're working to fuel america for generations to come. our commitment has never been stronger. ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." politico has a striking story about the so-called romney rebellion. as politico put it, ann romney and son tag performed an intervention on mitt trying to get him to put an emphasis on a softer and more moderate image. the softer image was on full display last week in denver. of course, there's a difference between talking in more moderate ways and pledging to govern as a moderate.
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on the latter, don't believe it all for a second. the mitt we saw last week in that debate was certainly working double time to etch-a-sketch away some of his positions. take a look. >> i will not reduce the share paid by high-income individuals. well, the current rates less 20%, so the top rate, for instance, would go from 35% to 28%. regulation is essential. this president has enacted job-killing regulations. i will eliminate them. what we did in massachusetts is a model for the nation. >> did you say on camera and other places that at times you thought it would be a model for the nation? >> you're wrong, brad. >> no, no, there's tape -- >> no, the tape out there -- continue to read the tape and the tape goes on to say for each state to be able to look at it. >> okay. but don't be fooled by romney's new language, of course. if the president wants to hold onto his job, he better make the american people understand that the so-called moderate mitt is just a mirage for the occasion. does he have it in him to do it? ron reagan is an msnbc political analyst, and michelle goldberg
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is senior contributing writer for "news week" and "the daily beast." thank you for joining us. i get pretty despondent when i think about the power of this medium television. if all you go by is what you watch and it's a good thing we all watch these debates, you really don't have the knowledge that you might need as a voter to know whether this syncs with what the guy stands for or it's merely a performance and i wonder whether if this guy, mr. romney, governor romney, is able to say something like, well, all pre-existing conditions will be covered and then have his guy go out later that night and tell a few people who read the newspapers, oh, it doesn't really cover you unless you're already covered which doesn't mean anything. your thoughts, ron. will television deceive? >> yes, television does deceive. candidates deceive. it's one of the most disturbing aspects of this campaign, particularly if romney were to win. it would set a standard of dishonesty for all campaigns going forward that would be really hard to meet. going into the next debate, i have been listening to your
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discussions thus far today, and i agree with you, you don't want obama to relitigate the last debate and i agree he has to attack romney the man. it's not about rearguing the medicare issue as such. it's about revealing the fact that romney has been all over the map on various issues, will say anything on a given day to get through the day, and he has to be unmasked that way. >> well, that's what i would do, michelle. the facts are that romney believes basically that the status quo on health care before president obama came along is fine with him, 40 million people sitting in emergency rooms for most of the day to get some kind of basic care. he does say things like i want the auto industry to go bankrupt. he does say -- or his party does and he supports them, let's not have a law that says you have to get equal pay for equal work if you're a woman. these seem to be pretty fundamental positions he's taken and yet in the debate because his family apparently told him to go softer he was able to mask them. >> and i feel for obama because as lackluster as his performance
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was, it's really hard to debate someone who is willing to make things up and kind of pull facts out of thin air. i'm not sure it's necessarily at this point his job to refute all of this -- >> whose job is it? >> his campaign's and the super pacs. i don't understand why there's not an ad on tv that uses that old quote of his about how inequality should only be spoken about in private rooms and then says, well, look at what romney says in private rooms. here is what he says in the debate, which is the real romney? >> do you think moderators should play that role? i don't want to knock jim lehrer, he's a distinguished journalist, but i have seen people like the late tim russert and people like bob schieffer, whenever they hear a complete nonsense statement from a politician on the sunday shows, they tend to go, now, just a minute. are you saying -- you can't believe that. that sort of general, ron, skepticism. you first, michelle. isn't it in order to say -- when a guy is flipping for an hour and a half, to stop him and say that's not been your
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position, sir? >> i understand the argument that he wants to be a kind of neutral arbiter, but, yes, absolutely. when you say, you know, flat out there is no tax cut for the wealthy in my plan or he says that kind of higher income people aren't going to pay any smaller of a share of the tax burden, when he's been saying on camera for more than a year now that he intends to reduce their rates to 20%, that he intends to reduce the inheritance tax, reduce capital gains -- >> it's called cut. >> it's pretty easy to just say how do you square this with your earlier statements? you don't even have to call him out for lying. you can just -- that's a legitimate question. >> and there are -- >> your thoughts about the role of a moderator. how do we get truth out of an hour and a half debate when nobody comes in and says whoa? >> exactly. when mitt romney says, for instance, that half the companies or over half the companies that have received loans from the federal government, new alternative energy companies, have gone bankrupt when the real number is something like 5% which is probably better than bain
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capital's average, you would think the moderator would be familiar enough with the facts that he could stop him right there and simply point out that that is not true. you're not being -- you're not taking sides when you're taking sides with the truth. >> i think you can throw the flag once in a while, throw the flag. mitt romney tried to use his experience as governor of massachusetts as evidence of his bipartisan leanings. let's take a look at what he said. >> jim, i had the great experience, it didn't seem like it at the time, of being elected in a state where my legislature was 87% democrat. and that meant i figured out from day one i had to get along, and i had to work across the aisle to get anything done. >> well, of course, would romney be as motivated to work across the aisle if, for example, both the senate and the house nationally are republican controlled? in that case, he would likely be facing a lot of people thinking exactly the way anti-tax crusader grover norquist summed it up. watch norquist in action. >> we are not auditioning for fearless leader. we don't need a president to tell us what direction to go.
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we know what direction we want to go. we want the paul ryan budget which cuts spending $6 trillion. the republicans in the house have passed 24-plus bills that create jobs and opportunity and strip out regulations. we just need a president to sign this stuff. and pick a republican with enough working digits to handle a pen to become president of the united states. >> you know, that's not an unfair shot. he basically believes he has those pledges in his pocket. he knows he can control fiscal policy in the congress with or without the new president. if there's a new president. he's got romney's arms tied in the same way that the religious right has his arms tied on abortion rights, same-sex, the the way the neo cons have his arms tied in terms of foreign policy. >> one question either the moderate or obama should ask, name one issue in which you plan to buck your party, one issue in which you plan to stand up to house republicans, one issue in which you don't plan to govern as a severe conservative as you
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described your record in massachusetts before you were describing your efforts in massachusetts as a bipartisan bridge builder. >> would he come out with a sista souljah moment on request? >> that could work. were you a severe conservative or are you the reaching over the aisle -- across the aisle kind of guy? which is it? but you've got to -- as i said before, you have to go at romney the person. it's not romney's policies because those don't really exist. it's romney the man that he's -- >> i agree. that's what i'm working tonight. let's take a look at the promise romney made at the debate last week about keeping his $5 trillion tax cut deficit -- new deficit neutral. in other words, no cost to the deficit and cutting $5 trillion mainly for the wealthy. let's watch. >> with regards to that tax cut, look, i'm not looking to cut massive taxes and to reduce the revenues going to the
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government. my number one principle is there will be no tax cut that adds to the deficit. i want to underline that. no tax cut that adds to the deficit. >> his running mate just dates before, paul ryan directly contradicted romney. ryan said lowering the tax rates was more important than anything else, including getting rid of those deductions to pay for them supposedly. let's watch. >> what's most important to romney, would he scale back on the 20% tax cut for the wealthy? would he scale back and say, okay, we're going to have to raise taxes for the middle class? i guess the question is what's most important to him in his tax reform plan -- >> keeping tax rates down. by lowering tax rates, people keep more of the next dollar they earn. >> that's more important -- >> that's more important than anything. >> in other words, it is, in fact, a tax cut. it's not an offset, a tax cutoff set by deductions. most importantly, it's to get the tax rates down from 35% to 38%. that's the goal he said. ron? >> romney said something interesting in the debate where
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he basically said nobody can say that my tax cut is going to add to the deficit if i say it won't. well, in fact, everybody who has looked at the plan says it will add to the deficit. there isn't a single credible economist that thinks these numbers add up, and romney thus far has gotten away with not having to justify the numbers that don't add up. >> everybody wants something free. he's offering them that. cotton candy for the world. thank you. ron reagan and michelle goldberg. >> up next, the rogue's gallery of republicans who don't believe science. wait until you catch this science committee in the house and its membership. this is "hardball," the place for politics. tdd#: 1-800-345-2550 let's talk about low-cost investing.
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♪ or turn 30-million artifacts... ♪ into a high-tech masterpiece? ♪ whatever your business challenge, dell has the technology and services to help you solve it. who sells those remote control helicopters at the mall. buy 'em or don't. whatever man. either way, he gets to fly helicopters all day. and he eats the liquid gold of velveeta shells & cheese. achieve your dreams. eat like that guy you know. romney stopped at the tin fish restaurant in port st. lucie, florida, yesterday. he was posing for a group photo with the staff when one of the employees decided to help clean him up.
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this is nice, and then he's like -- oh, oh. okay. wait a minute now. and then he kind of uses his hand to tap, tap. okay, now we're going to push that out of the frame. by the way, where is the secret service when this is going on? >> back to "hardball," last month's jobs report showed the country's unemployment rate had dropped to 7.8%. instead of acknowledging the positive news, jack welch led a group of lesser lights saying the numbers must have been manipulated by the obama administration and that the unemployment rate couldn't really be below 8%. jon stewart weighed in. >> it's got to be corrupt political manipulation of the official statistics. what else would explain why after unemployment has been steadily declining for the last year that now suddenly right before the election it declines a little more? please. >> a lot of people are saying that the government's cooking the books here. >> i'll tell you these guys are saying they feel like they
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cooked the books. >> look, i got to say, if you're cooking the books, 7.8% unemployment is a [ bleep ] recipe. it's like the radish stew of jobless numbers. if you're cooking, make a nice jambalaya, something nice for people. unemployment is 2.6%. everybody, now we're getting -- >> enough said. with the election just weeks away, positive news about the economy ignites desperation among angry republicans. last time i told you about republican congressman paul broun, the member of the house science committee who called things like evolution and even the big bang theory lies from the pit of hell. are you curious who else is picking up the slack for broun on the science committee while he's out there spreading his "planet of the apes" world view? let's get a look at some of the other members. here they are. dana rohrabacher called global warming a complete fraud. he once joked about the topic by compare it to a significant climb change that occurred over 15 million years ago.
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quote, we don't know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. could be dinosaur flatulence or, you know, who knows. might be tricky to square that with broun's assertion that the earth is only 9,000 years old. according to the bible. next it's texas republican ralph hall. in order to support legislation to cut funding for scientific. research and education, hall said this about scientists who come before his committee to talk about the reality of climate change. quote, i think we ought to listen to them. i just don't think we ought to mind them. that's a thinker. their colleague, jim sensenbrenner, has called the idea of climate change an international conspiracy and scientific fascism. heard enough? don't forget about todd akin. he has a slot on the science committee, he and his theory that in legitimate cases of rape as he puts it, the woman can't get pregnant. hmm. up next, republicans probably figured they had the senate seat in arizona all wrapped up, but richard carmona has come out of nowhere and coming on strong. now we have a race out there. richard carmona joins us next. here in a minute or two. you're watching "hardball," the
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i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. jerry sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for abusing ten boys over the course of 15 years. the death toll traced to a special pharmacy continues to rise. and extremist abu hamsa al masri pleaded not guilty early. back to "hardball." welcome back to "hardball." arizona's democratic senate candidate richard carmona has an inspiring biography that's
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nearly custom made for politics. he dropped out of high school, went to vietnam, and became a decorated combat veteran. he got a ged, got a medical degree, and went on to become surgeon general in george w. bush's administration. here is a part of his story in a campaign ad. let's watch. >> from the jungles of vietnam to life-saving rescues at home, rich carmona has always answered the call. in the senate he'll support our veterans because he's lived it. >> now, richard carmona has put the republican held arizona senate seat in play. democrats dearly want to hold on to the majority in the senate and flipping the seat held by retiring jon kyl would make it even harder for republicans to stop them. it would be a powerful symbol of the shifting politics in western states. >> joining me is now is richard carmona. it's an honor to have you on the show, sir. how do you handle -- how do you unify your state along ethnic lines between what we call anglos and latinos? how do you make the state feel
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whole? >> well, it's whole and home for me, chris, because i have been here over a quarter century. as you know, working in health care, working along the border, working as a police officer, working as a professor at the university. so the people know me and they consider me one of their own, and they're very proud of me stepping up to serve my country once again. >> because i look at someone like your governor, without going after her too roughly, i just sense that her brand of politics is division. >> yes, chris. there's a lot of division here and it's one of the reasons i decided to step up. you know, all of the democrats and even the moderate republicans that i deal with every single day, they're just fed up with this finger pointing and extremist rhetoric that's out here and it's hurtful and painful and doesn't solve any problems. i believe the people are behind me because they see me as a reasonable person willing to solve their problems. >> let's talk about the tradition of western democrat. i came into politics with frank moss from utah, a very popular guy for about three terms out there even though he's a liberal democrat. and i look at all the western democrats, montoya in the old
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days, lee metcalf and magnuson and scoop jackson. and mike mansfield, of course. there's a long history of democrats in the west. what's happened? can they make a comeback? just moderate democrats from the west, is there something that can be rebuilt there as a tradition without mirroring what goes on back east? >> chris, i really think there is, and i think what's helping us most is this extremist rhetoric that's been happening not only in arizona but throughout the west. i think people are rejecting that, they're tired of the partisanship, tired of the finger pointing and name game and blame and nobody taking responsibility for the people. i think it's our time now to step up around bring some reasonable people to congress and i think that's why i'm going to be successful. >> well, you've been running an ad that essentially hugs the middle which makes sense saying -- i'm only reading the prompter. i can't read ahead -- saying democrats and republicans are wrong on health care reform. let's watch what you're saying because this couldn't be a trickier position, your position in the middle of health care as a surgeon. >> i've seen health care as a combat medic, nurse, and trauma surgeon. how it can save lives.
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but i have also seen it as surgeon general, how politics can get in the way. republicans and democrats both got it wrong. we've got to make health care affordable for small business and working families. through innovation and preventive care while also cutting waste and fraud. i'm rich carmona and i approve this message because it's time to tackle tough problems together. >> mr. carmona, just give me a minute, tell me what you did in vietnam. >> i was a u.s. army special forces medic and weapons specialist on an a team, and i served in combat carrying out various operations, special operations on behalf of our country. >> so you were in it. >> yes, yes, i was and with a lot of my friends and, you know, it's one of the reasons i'm so passionate about our veterans and making sure that they get the education and training they deserve, that their va benefits are preserved, and that we should be awarding them combat bonuses. congressman flake, of course, has voted down all those things.
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which i think is reprehensible. there's no higher calling than honoring these young men and women who so bravely serve us. right now i'm real disappointed in how congressman flake has handled that. i won't do that. i will support our veterans and seniors as well as some of the areas congressman flake has moved away from because it's politically convenient for him. >> you know that movie "born of the fourth of july" where everybody cheers the young man when he goes off to fight but when he comes back dismembered, there's not a lot of bugles playing. what is that about our culture? some people, they're good at the beginning but not so good when we meet the casualties. >> i think what's happened, i think people, irrespective of party, rally around brave young men and women -- >> i wish they would. >> the fact is before i became a senate candidate, i was vice president of department of defense policy board. last year around this time i was down there in the combat zone and trauma centers with these kids coming off the plane with two, three amputations, devastated for life. our combat casualty care is so
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good, these kids are going to live 50 and 60 more years. we owe them and their families for the rest of their lives and trying to make them whole and give them the benefits they've earned because those are not entitlements which is what congressman flake has said. they are not entitlements, these are earned benefits. >> that's part of the 47%, right? >> probably so, but for me, you know, i'm keeping focused on the specifics that i will never waiver from supporting our veterans for protecting medicare, protecting social security, to make sure our seniors, again, who have earned those benefits. they've put in every paycheck for 40 or 50 years. we can't pull the rug out from under them now. we owe that to the seniors to make sure they live their lives in comfort and dignity and respect and not have to worry about bankruptcy and not getting health care. >> i have watched people in politics for about 50, 60 years now. all my life i have been watching politics and i like the people who went against the wind, against the tide and they win in races where their state may go the other direction, they go the other direction. this week it's very important to talk about that because joe
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biden won his first race in 1972, the year that george mcgovern got blown out in 49 states. actually 49 states including his own, south dakota. but joe biden won in delaware even as his state was going for nixon and i think if you pull this off, you will be a man to be watched for years and years. thank you very much, richard carmona running for the united states senate in arizona. up next, a new pbs documentary on this race, the 2012 presidential race, explores how mitt romney's mormon faith shapes him as a politician and his ambitions and how romney and obama came back from bruising losses early in their political careers and that's ahead. this is "hardball," the place for politics. or fiona. tell me fiona, who's having a big tire event? your ford dealer. who has 11 major brands to choose from? your ford dealer. who's offering a rebate? your ford dealer. who has the low price tire guarantee... affording peace of mind to anyone who might be in the market for a new set of tires? your ford dealer. i'm beginning to sense a pattern. buy four select tires, get a $60 rebate. use the ford service credit credit card, get $60 more. that's up to $120. where did you get that sweater vest? your ford dealer.
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we've got another couple polls for new states not thought of as battlegrounds, but they're close. let's check the "hardball" scoreboard. in pennsylvania the president is up by just three points over romney, 43-40. in michigan, mitt romney's home state, he trails the president by just three there as well now in a new epic-mra poll, obama, 48%, romney, 45%. we'll be right back. boy, they are close. [ male announcer ] every day, thousands of people, like you, are choosing advil®
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and use one of our certified repair shops, your repairs are guaranteed for life. call... to switch, and you could save hundreds. liberty mutual insurance -- responsibility. what's your policy? fire bad! just have to fire roast these tomatoes. this is going to give you a head start on your dinner. that seems easier [ female announcer ] new progresso recipe starters. five delicious cooking sauces you combine with fresh ingredients to make amazing home-cooked meals. we're back. throughout this election year we've watched president obama and governor romney's campaigns carefully craft a message on who exactly their candidate is and what makes them tick. well, a pbs frontline documentary airing tonight is breaking through the talking points to find out what made these two presidential candidates the men they are in the words of their friends,
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family, enemies, and the reporters who have covered them. let's watch. >> he is a pragmatic business person. he's a guy who likes to take apart a problem and figure out how to get it fixed. >> barack obama is a fascinating mixture of boldness and caution but then once he makes a decision, it's usually the bold one. >> mitt romney has been accused of flip-flopping, but on mormonism he will never flip-flop. >> and yet in politics he has often tried to keep that part of him behind the curtain. >> the backlash against his presidency must be mystifying to him because he genuinely doesn't see himself as a radical. >> well, with us right now is michael kirk producer of "frontline: the choice 2012." congratulations it will be fabulous to watch this. give us a couple reasons why -- let me put it this way, what do you learn about -- and this is almost inevitable, we don't talk religion in this country, we're not comfortable with it, we're a country of tremendous religious diversity and increasingly so, and we don't think it should be in any way used as a test, but what do you think is relevant to the world view of mitt romney in
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his faith? >> i think there's something sort of fundamental and carefully crafted by mitt's responses to questions about his faith. i think he feels it very deeply, but can't really talk about it. there's sort of a hidden he fee but can't talk about it. he keeps it close and i think it's altered the way he approaches conversations not just about his faith but about many other things people would like to know about it. >> all religions have, if you don't mind it, their weirdnesses, whether it's exorcism in my religion. every religion has different things. it didn't really add up to history. so what is it that he doesn't want to bring out that might be seen as relevant by voters. >> it's not so much as what's seen by voter, but the way i look at the religion with mitt was that i wanted to know what does faith mean to a young boy
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growing up in the mormon church as opposed to maybe you, chris, in the catholic church. the answers were very interesting to me. some of it has to do with his mission and the mission experience, but a lot of it has to do with the family story about their own relationship with their great grandfather and that relationship to the united states of america. that story that mitt was fond of hearing how his family fought and came up by their it boot straps from real depredation and prjs prejudice in mexico. he didn't feel he could talk about it because it's about polygamy. >> let's look at a documentary exploring a side of mitt romney we don't hear often about, his family's mormon faith. let's watch how you handled it. >> the romneys had left the united states to go to mexico to avoid persecution, but it's also
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to pursue polygamy. >> someone with a name like romney and you heard about the sufferings of your ancestors and all they have done, you feel it's my turn now. i've got to pick up the baton and run with it. >> it's an incredible history. le can't talk about it because it involves polygamy. so if the core of your personality is something you can't talk about because it's politically unacceptable, you're not going to be open with the people around you. >> is it possible in your research here to handle something i'm concerned about. that's the view and the notion of it. not that this is a country where you can make it on your own regardless of your background and who your parents were. it gives us some sort of mandate in the world. is there something along those lines? >> i think there's a sense from the mormons we talked to that scripture, something close to
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scripture happened at the moment the constitution was written that america is sort of a holy land and a place where jesus or god may come back to that the the freedom of this country needs to be protected. that's intense and very interesting information that mormon scholars will talk about. all we had to do was call them up and ask them and they'd talk about it. where mitt falls on that scale talk about about those things is something a lot of people tell us he's not really comfortable talking about. and i suspect it's something that he worries about talking about for reasons that i don't really know once we look at it. it makes sense they believe that. >> here both governor romney and president obama suffered from early political bruising. obama in the primary race against bobby rush in 2000. let's watch that. >> the debate was watched by
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over 3 million people. as many people watched a super bowl in massachusetts. >> romney had these expectations that he was going to win up to here. and suddenly kennedy is up to here and romney is here. the race is over. >> bobby rush called him an educated fool, again, trying to sort of cast obama as this overeducated, half-white guy from hawaii with this multicultural background. he was not one of us. it was a bruising loss for him. >> i think the most impressive think about president obama is when he lost the race, got his butt kicked. he said i'm going statewide now. how many politicians say i got beat locally and i'm going to go statewide. >> he traveled all over the state trying to hook together a new kind of coalition that would help him get there, emulating mayor washington's victory in chicago with a lot of different kinds of people. you'll see in the film tonight, that's a big part of obama's
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method that it took him 30 years or so to perfect. but that was the original idea. when he loses to rush, he has to reinvent himself again. as you'll see in the film, he has to reinvent himself in the face of michelle saying i don't want you to do this anymore. >> you've done a great job. thank you for coming on. "front line: the choice 2012" airs tonight. i love these documentaries. we'll be right back. are superio? yeah. then how'd i get this... [ voice of dennis ] driving bonus check? every six months without an accident, allstate sends a check. ok. [ voice of dennis ] silence. are you in good hands? with a vial and syringe. me, explaining what i was doing at breakfast. and me discovering novolog mix 70/30 flexpen. flexpen is pre-filled with your pre-mix insulin. dial the exact dose.
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let me finish with the real choice in this coming election. one is a democrat, the other's a republican. president obama opposed the war in iraq and mitt romney was in favor of it. even as he decided not to participate in the vietnam war. one opposed green bay. mitt romney ate them up. president obama supported a woman's right to decide on reproductive rights. mitt romney wants the government to rule against it it. he wants to regulate people's lives. president obama wants the states to decide on same-sex marriage. romney wants the federal law kept in place to keep the decision out of state hands. keep same-sex marriage banned entirely and for all time. president obama stepped up and rescued the auto industry, mitt romney said to lett


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